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by: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT The Big Float event on the Willamette River July 31 hopes to change the way Portlanders relate to the river.

STAGE

'Much Ado About Nothing'

Portland Ensemble's second show of the summer continues through Labor Day, shown in different locations in and around the city and directed by Asae Dean. Costumer Liz Hoover has created a delightful and romantic blend of 19th century-style costumes.

3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, July 30-31, Laurelhurst Park, portlandactors.org (check for times/dates at other parks), free

'Prohibition' preview

Oregon Public Broadcasting will feature an evening with filmmaker Ken Burns in anticipation of the October release of his newest film with Lynn Novick. Burns will share clips of the movie, which tells the story of the rise, rule and fall of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and take questions from the audience.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, Newmark Theatre, 1111 S.W. Broadway, pcpa.com, $17

'No Man's Land'

Heads up: Artists Repertory Theatre has landed esteemed stage and film actor William Hurt, teaming with Producing Artistic Director Allen Nause, for the fall stage production. Tickets go on sale Aug. 1; tickets for all 2011-12 Artists Rep productions go on sale the same day. It'll be Hurt's fourth production with Artists Rep, and he'll be joined by Tim True and his son Alex Hurt, a recent graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in Acting. Director will be John Dillon.

Oct. 4-Nov. 6, Artists Repertory Theatre/Morrison Stage, 1515 S.W. Morrison St., artistsrep.org, $25-$50, $20 students

'Ripper'

It'll the world premiere of the musical thriller for Broadway Rose Theatre Company, a story about the fictional PennyWise Music Hall, where an illusionist saws women in half but real murders take place outside, based on 'Jack the Ripper.'

7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays (and Aug. 13 and 20), Aug. 4-21, Deb Fennell Auditorium, 9000 S.W. Durham Road, Tigard, broadwayrose.org, $28-$35 adults, $20 ages 6-25

MUSIC

Whitesnake

The band, formed in 1977 by David Coverdale but earning its hair metal fame in the 1980s, will perform such hits as 'Here I Go Again,' 'Is this Love?,' and 'Still of the Night,' as well as songs from the newly released 'Forevermore.'

8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, July 29-30, Chinook Winds Casino Resort, Lincoln City, 1-888-624-6228, $70-$85

Christian Kane

The 'Leverage' cast tough guy also sings country music, with a hit single 'Let Me Go,' and he'll make an appearance in the town where he films the TV series, as well as at the Oregon Jamboree at Spirit Mountain Casino on July 31.

7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 30, Duke's Country Bar and Grill, 14601 S.E. Division St., dukesbar.com, $12, $14 day of show

MISC.

'The Grand Duel'

Filmusik will present the 1972 spaghetti Western about a grizzled ex-sheriff who helps a man framed for murder confront his enemies. Portland's Federale will be the ensemble pit orchestra playing an original live music score.

8 p.m. Thursay-Sunday, July 28-30, Hollywood Theatre, 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd., 503-493-1128, $10, $10 students/seniors

PDX Bridge Festival

A kickoff party gets things started, featuring bands And And And, Wax Fingers, Housefire, Boy Eats Drum Machine and Solovox. The festival runs through Aug. 7, and information can be gathered at pdxbridgefestival.org

Kickoff party 6 p.m. Friday, July 29, TheSlate, 2001 N.W. 19th Ave., pdxbridgefestival.org, free

Trail Blazers Street Jam

Teams take to the outdoor courts in basketball action all weekend. More than 2,100 players of all ages and abilities competed last year.

9 a.m. Friday-Sunday, July 29-31, Rose Quarter, blazersstreetjam.com, free

NW Book Festival

More than 50 authors will be on hand for the third annual outdoor event.

11 a.m. Saturday, July 30, Pioneer Courthouse Square, nwbookfestival.com, free

'The Big Float'

The first annual Willamette River event is a celebration of the river, highlighting recreation and restoration. It'll be a one-hour cruise down the Willamette in 'float-worthy apparatus' of your choice. A party follows at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge.

9:30 a.m. Sunday, July 31, 1515 S.E. Water Ave., thebigfloat.com, $5 suggested donation